I ended up going to the Vintage Virginia Wine Festival yesterday at Bull Run Regional Park (Centreville, VA). 32 vineyards and wineries from Virginia were in attendance, providing tastings and education about their wines. There was plenty of food and gift vendors to mix things up, in case you get bored, and a stage was set up for some live entertainment. Being the designated driver, I only got a handful of tastings, but I was still able to taste some very good wine.
The first order of business was to get some food in preparation for a day of tastings. Food vendors greeted you as you enter serving up standard festival fare, such as corn dogs, french fries and funnel cakes. I didn’t see any salad trucks so I had to settle for a corn dog and some chicken-on-a-stick.
The winery booths were a little overwhelming at first but what attracted my attention was a sign that read “Pow Wow: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Wine.” Might as well check that out: carpe diem (or YOLO for you younger kids). The booth was for Mattaponi Winery and after getting some Cabernet Sauvignon and other reds, I was treated to some dessert wines. The best was the Odeimin, or strawberry wine, and it remained my favorite for the rest of the day.
Other wineries passed by in a haze. Democracy Winery had a good apple wine that tasted like apple flavored water. Well Hung Vineyard was exactly how it sounds. There was also some sangria that I had later in the day but I can’t remember the place. The secret was Sprite and lemonade and if you buy 2 bottles of wine, the recipe was on the box.
Another notable booth was Prince Michel Vineyard which had at least 10 wines to taste, but I’m not really sure since I kind of lost count. Good thing I had a designated driver. Oh wait, that’s me. I guess I’m not leaving anytime soon. Anyways, they had a lot of good fruity wines, like raspberry and peach as well as chocolate.
Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda Pop Co. had a truck resembling a western saloon. They sold stainless steel cups resembling the kind you take on camping trips. There were about 8 sodas on tap with unlimited refills for the whole day. The birch beer and vanilla cream sodas were good but the sarsaparilla was a refreshing change of pace.
Buying wine was pretty easy. There were options to get a nicely chilled, open bottle or to have it delivered to a tent in the front when you leave, because carrying wine all day is too hard.
So how do you follow up an afternoon of wine tasting on a nice Saturday afternoon? By grilling up some steaks, of course. That can be a subject of a different post.